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Tonight's lineup: Caps at Sabres

Jose Theodore will start in goal tonight for the Caps, who are seeking a season-best seventh straight win at HSBC Arena. Ryan Miller is expected to start for the Sabres.

Semyon Varlamov (groin), Mathieu Perreault (ill) and Matt Bradley (personal leave) are out and Michal Neuvirth and Keith Aucoin have been recalled from Hershey.

Because of that the lineup has been shuffled a bit. Here's what it should look like:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin
Fleischmann-Morrison-Fehr
Giroux-Aucoin-Laich
Sloan-Steckel-Clark

Defense
Schultz-Green
Morrisonn-Pothier
Poti-Jurcina

Goalies
Theodore
Neuvirth

I'll have more later from windy, cold and rainy Buffalo (where flights scheduled for tomorrow morning are already being canceled).

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  December 9, 2009; 6:25 PM ET
 
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Next: Sabres 3, Caps 0

Comments

Welcome back, Coiner. But we're sorry to see MP out sick. Well Rooster, now that you're reunited with your center from Hershey, maybe that can be a spark.

Bonjour!

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I'll miss watching that hardworking Mathieu Perreault.

Posted by: uncatim | December 9, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

I know what you mean. Now if we changed Tambellini's name to Tamberrino, it would be even better.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Big game tonight IMO. This goalie is tough! Lets hope Ovie is still mad...ABOUT ANYTHING!!!

...and maybe Aucoin can wake up the sleeping GIROUX!?!?!??!

GO CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 6:52 PM | Report abuse

The little French guys are out in force today. Let's see if they can make up for the loss of our Russian-Varly.

I hope our boys keep up their tough-minded, 60-minute play tonight.

Posted by: caraveli | December 9, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1 (Posted on previous thread)

It dawned on me today. We need a Company G in the Doofus Brigade, G to stand for goons. Members include: Gleason, Kaleta, Carcillo, Il Duco, and Steve Downie.

-------------

Yes, we do need a Company G.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 6:53 PM | Report abuse

@caraveli

Except for MP who's out sick. (So we're missing one little French guy.) But at least Coiner's with Giroux. (To continue the French theme, the name "Clark" actually was derived from the Norman-French Le Clerque, which meant "clerk". So our captain may be English but there are Norman French roots.)

So that covers the "French Connection" line for tonight.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching for 60 minutes tonight, no let up here...

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

BACK IN THE MCPHEE KITCHEN

GMGM returns home from a hard day of salary cap juggling and puts the groceries on the counter. mrsgmgm begins putting the groceries away.

"Well," she says, "I see you got plenty of Cheetos. I guess that Nylander fellow isn't leaving anytime soon."

(From across the house): "Did I hear my name?"

She continues pulling items out of those crinkly plastic bags and holds up a package. "What's this?"

"Chuck steak."

"Chuck steak," she says. "You know we don't like that. And why is it we're eating chuck steak when we have perfectly good t-bones in the freezer?"

"We'll save the t-bones," he says, "for when we can afford them. Can I get a cup of coffee?"

"You can have five point three ounces," she says, "but not a cup."

"What?"

"Yes. Nylander."

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 9, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

PP...lets show off!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

where can I find a live stream???
Anybody have the ATDHE password????

Please help

Posted by: caps4life2 | December 9, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

they have come out hard

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm a huge Poti fan.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

On the Sabres goal, it looked to me like Jurcina was trying to clear out 2 Sabres in front while Poti was not getting his hands dirty. Anybody out there see it differently?

Posted by: zmega | December 9, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

ATDHE password is "kingkessel"

Posted by: caps4life2 | December 9, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

brutal call on Sloan

Posted by: caps4life2 | December 9, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit, I dont like the way Poti has been playing since he came back. I hope the coaching staff is on his case!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

We dont usually look that good on the PK, they only had about 15-20 secs in the zone.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

wtf_e_fehr

I'm almost convinced that the Sabres are a one man team.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

OVIE JUST MISSED A CHRISTMAS GIFT!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 7:28 PM | Report abuse

wtf_e_fehr

I'm almost convinced that the Sabres are a one man team.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 7:28 PM

I think thats not far from the truth. But the thing is, that one man imo is THAT GOOD.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

is poti drunk tonight????

Posted by: caps4life2 | December 9, 2009 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Poti is stinkin' up the joint!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

stupid stupid Poti....

Posted by: caps4life2 | December 9, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Just guessing - after the Sabres goal, the coaches yelled at Poti, telling him that he had to at least make an attempt to clear the crease. So he made sure he did that next time. Maybe it's a skill he never learned.

Posted by: zmega | December 9, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

So far, the Caps have had a few shots but nothing has gone in.

Don't like this game so far. They can't afford ANY more mistakes since Miller's been perfect at goal.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

On Nylander.

I will be a really sad camper if Semin's gone and we still have Nylander and his uber large cap hit.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

@zmega

You bring up an excellent point. Tom Poti in his other stints with other teams was a puck mover, someone who they counted on for points and qb'ing the PP. It was only due to the almost immediate emergence of Green that changed his role. He is not a defensive defensemen, he is not a puck mover, he is an overpaid defender trying to play a way he isn't very good at.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Caps may be on top of the league, but they sure didn't look like it that period. Miller is playing stellar. Let's hope BB gets them up for the 2nd period.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 9, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

@cbs75

Agree. This game is depressing me. I keep telling myself that they've been down 1-0 in plenty of games they've won but Miller is a much better goalie than any one else we've faced this year.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

I'm fairly new to hockey. Why did the 2nd line start the game tonight?? Anyone?

Posted by: Avar | December 9, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Line numbers do not mean they play in that order. Bruce rarely starts the game with the first line.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

@Avar

I've seen more games where the "second" line gets the start. But I've seen a few where the "third" line got the start.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Thanks

Posted by: Avar | December 9, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon - What concerns me is that in the playoffs goals tend to be scored ugly - in scrums in front of the net, deflections, screens, etc. It would not surprise me if the Caps tried to trade Poti later this year for a more physical d-man.

In the interest of full disclosure, my previous prediction here was that Nylander would be gone by November.

Posted by: zmega | December 9, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Nylander must be gone. I haven't seen or heard anything from him...

Posted by: uncatim | December 9, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Most likely date for Nylander departure is March 2, 2010.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 9, 2009 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Remember Poti playing patty cake vs Crosby in the playoff game where Crosby and Ovi both had hattricks. Crosby and Poti both whacking at the puck, Poti falls over and Crosby bats it in. All Poti had to do was use his 200lbs body and move Crosby 1 ft away.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Poti just doesn't have those instincts.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I wish Backstrom would get to control the puck more often so he can create. Ovi is the one making the passes at the moment.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Miller is going to win this game for Buffalo. No rebounds. And too many Caps penalties and time in our defensive zone.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 9, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Lets Go Cap - I - Tals!!!

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 9, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Wouldn't be a Sabres game without complaining about how much the Buffalo commentators suck. :)

Posted by: Cerealman | December 9, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Those goals are the reason why Varly is our number one goalie.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Not digging Laich on the third line--or his chemistry with his linemates.

Giroux has been here for.ever.

Posted by: ogdennash | December 9, 2009 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Such home calls, geez...

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 9, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

BS call. Ovi does not dive.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 9, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely correct icehammer! Varly has played phenominal and Theo still can't stop the easy ones. Granted, I would've like to have seen a Dman collapse there but still Theo should've had it.

In the words of the Buffalo announcers, "Theo would like to have that one back". Gee how many times have we heard that over the past yr and a 1/2?

Posted by: pokerfaceI208 | December 9, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

How can that be called diving when all of the stuff Crosby does never gets called? I think that the refs are bias against Ovechkin especially against Buffalo for some reason. The horrible boarding call last game and now this BS diving call.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

AND THEO LOSES THE GAME

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 9, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Come back soon Varly we need you. How do you let that big of a rebound of a shot from so far away?

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Well this game has been a dud for the Caps... but it's expected. They don't look very into it. On to Friday's game.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 9, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

before we jump all over Theo, who admittedly looks terrible. Goalies don't lose games where you don't score. never seen a team win a game when they don't score a goal. the boys up front look like they are more concerned with whether their flight is going to take off than they are concerned about beating the sabres.

Posted by: SFcapsfan | December 9, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Everybody looks so out of it today! This is dissapointing.

Posted by: capscoach | December 9, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the Caps bought in to their own hype. And once again, they will lose to an inferior team. What can I say, the Sabres have outplayed us, and the score board shows it. Some bad calls by the refs here and there, but you can't pin it all on them. Let's hope they at least put a goal past Miller. Don't want to be shut-out.

Posted by: cbs75 | December 9, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think that Nuevy should start the third. Theo has not looked good at all and the team could use the spark.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

This "one man team" is showing us the door...in style.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

SFcapsfan

you make a good point...i don't see one player looking good today...and I know its been said, but why is Alexander Giroux still here!

Posted by: capscoach | December 9, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

We can't blame Theo if we don't score any.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | December 9, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Three-or-more SUUUUUUCKKKKKK
Poti SUUUUCCCKKK
S.Mo SUUUUUCCCKKKKK
PLEASE GET RID OF THEM!!!!!

Posted by: Tondi | December 9, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't even want to watch the 3rd. They may as well put Neuvy in, just so he gets some more NHL experience. This game is way out of reach when you are facing a goalie like that. All we can hope for now is that we don't get shutout.

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | December 9, 2009 8:38 PM | Report abuse

3 things:

a) They are trying to force every puck to Ovechkin. Ovechkin, when he gets the puck, is trying to force everything at the net. Neither of these are working with much regularity.

b) HIT THE NET. How many shots have missed the net?

c) This is why Theo will not be given the reins for this team. Two goals given up that never should have gone in. I am so tired of watching him play really well, then let in some softies.

All the brutalness of this game aside, the Caps have been phenomenal lately, and we cannot expect them to win all the time. 6-0-2 in the last 8 is impressive, it's too bad they're throwing up such a dud tonight.

Posted by: Aldred15 | December 9, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

First goal - Not his fault, tipped shot. Poti was lounging.

Second goal - Could've been stopped, but it was a PP.

Third goal - Juicy rebound, but neither Juice or Poti did a thing to clear Tallinder, instead just backed up in front of Theo.

The guys are lifeless. I've not seen them this lethargic this year.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 8:39 PM | Report abuse

before we jump all over Theo, who admittedly looks terrible. Goalies don't lose games where you don't score. never seen a team win a game when they don't score a goal. the boys up front look like they are more concerned with whether their flight is going to take off than they are concerned about beating the sabres.

Posted by: SFcapsfan | December 9, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

-----------

The team plays with no confidence in front of Theo. For better or worse, this is a very temperamental team. Varly's playing this game instead and it's 0-1 and they're still fighting.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 9, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Yeah the last two goals were pretty bad by Theo. But he hasn't had any goal support. The whole team just looks dog tired. They don't have it tonight, combine that with Miller's goaltending. I wonder if BB goes back to Theo for Friday's game?

Posted by: rachel216 | December 9, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

c'mon guys
i hope they can do what they did against the rangers last year....

Posted by: gocaps01 | December 9, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

You said it, BernieWolfeFan. And there have been plenty of opportunities.

Posted by: uncatim | December 9, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully BB is chewing out his players right now, and they will sart connectin passes and protecting Theo...and Theo willnot give any more huge rebounds!

Posted by: capscoach | December 9, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

cbs75 really an inferior team? This is Carolina or the Islanders. Buffalo is still one of the top 5 teams in the conference and in the NHL the top teams are all very competitive.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

" ...and Theo willnot give any more huge rebounds!"


yeah count on that hahah

Posted by: Tondi | December 9, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

The only time this lethargic was that mid-Nov game in NJ, 3rd in 4 nights, lost 5-2 after being up 2-0.

The measure of a champion is how fast does he bounce back. Hopefully the Caps can wipe the slate clean and win Friday night.

Posted by: tominfl1 | December 9, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

They can't compete, much less win, with Theodore in net. The # team in the NHL with 5 regulation time losses and the goaltender records:

Varlamov 12 wins 1 loss 2 OT losses (or 12 W, 3L)
Theodore 7 wins 4 losses 4 OT losses (or 7 W, 8L)

They may as well put Nylander in net instead of Theodore.

Posted by: caps1974 | December 9, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

although it is a longshot, lets not count our Caps out just yet!

Posted by: capscoach | December 9, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Agree with many posters here about Giroux... I want him to have chances up here but he looks lost out there. Why doesn't any of his AHL skills translate to the NHL? That's disappointing.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 9, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Our energy isn't helped by our 3rd and 4th lines being Steckel, Laich (who hasn't been playing very well the past couple weeks), and a bunch of scrubs. Definitely missing Perreault and Brads tonight.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 9, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

butcherbaker

sorry man i just don't buy it. I have seen the caps play well in front of theo and play poorly in front of varly. sometimes the boys just don't have it. they had 1 1/2 periods to do something before theo's soft goal.

Posted by: SFcapsfan | December 9, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Laughlin is kind of ticking me off right now wondering out loud why Tallinder scored while 3 caps were in the slot. It is because friggin' Theodore gave ANOTHER juicy rebound and the Caps were facing the net and his big fat juicy rebound bounced past them. The last two goals are squarely on Theo. Goals 2 and 3 are the weak goals that we have not been giving up.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 9, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Giroux is a bust. Please send another prospect from Hershey and return AG to his comfort zone.

Posted by: TJ91 | December 9, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

"... they had 1 1/2 periods to do something before theo's soft goal."

true but after those soft goals it doesn't matter that there is 1 1/2 per to go - it's a lost game

Posted by: Tondi | December 9, 2009 8:52 PM | Report abuse

For the third time in the last year the Red Wings scored a goal before the whistle goes but it is called no goal because of when the ref intended to blow the whistle. When is the NHL finally going to change that stupid rule?

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

On pretty much any other night, Theos performance so far would be enough. Tonight, he is, for many the scapegoat...and so it goes.

-The rest of the team isnt playing so well.

-Miller is who I thought he was, and if you didnt know you should have asked somebody.

-Theo is ONLY in because the guy who we think would keep us in this game (who shut them out this season) is hurt.

Cut Theo some slack.
The game isnt over.

Go Caps, SHOW THEM SOMETHIN!!!!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

The NHL should start reviewing minor penalties in real time and holding refs accountable for their calls. The Refs have way to much power to affect games.

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | December 9, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Ovi getting the diving call was rediculous too. We should have been on the PP when it was still 2-0. Now Ovi gets absolutely no respect from the officials. Why the heck would he dive in the slot while Backs has control of the puck below the goal line. The answer...he wouldn't, bogus call.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 9, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

UnleashTheCaps I know in the war room they said they keep track of blown and missed calls by refs and if they go through all that trouble I would think they use that information when deciding who get playoff games ect.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

UnleashTheCaps I know in the war room they said they keep track of blown and missed calls by refs and if they go through all that trouble I would think they use that information when deciding who get playoff games ect.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Why do the Buffalo Announcers keep calling it a check when we lose the puck????

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | December 9, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

jesus, joe b, do you really have to yell like that? ugh, getting so annoying.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 9, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

It is because friggin' Theodore gave ANOTHER juicy rebound

that rebound was off of his chest - it would have been off of varly's too. the difference is the d didn't clear the puck. in the TB shoutout the d whacked about 9 or 10 pucks to the corner that varly left right in front. try all you want - you can't pin this whole game on theo. if varly was in - he'd be getting his second regulation loss.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2009 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I wonder when the Caps are going to realize that Miller's best feature is his glove. That is about the 6th or 7th time they went glove and he caught it easy.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Miller is simply not havin it.

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

I know we can't win every game...but can we at least try to act like we have some kind of energy....

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | December 9, 2009 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: It is because Theo puts most of his rebounds back in the slot. He is a 4.5mil goaltender. He's not going to be a pin cushion but he's expected to control his rebounds.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 9, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Miller is playing absurdly well right now. The saves on Morrison and Backstrom were awesome. Good third period from the Caps, but it appears to be too late.

Posted by: Aldred15 | December 9, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I am getting really annoyed with this goalie...actually both...but relly Miller is being a beast tonight!

Posted by: capscoach | December 9, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

We were due to lose after 6 in a row. It may be a little late but the Caps have not packed it in here in the 3rd. If Miller gets the shutout he's earned it.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 9, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The fact that we have had only 1 PP doesnt help either

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Now I really want them to ruin his shutout b/c he's getting so annoying!!

Posted by: rachel216 | December 9, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

This will be the first game all season that we don't have the lead at some point in the game.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

wtf_e_fehr powerplays come from outworking your opponent and forceing them to do something to stop you. The Caps have not had the energy to do that tonight.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: It is because Theo puts most of his rebounds back in the slot. He is a 4.5mil goaltender. He's not going to be a pin cushion but he's expected to control his rebounds.

Posted by: fanohock1

if you're talking about controlling rebounds off of his pads or blocker ok - but i don't know of any goalies that control rebounds off of their chest. the whole team is letting theo don't - not the other way around

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Lets at least not let him get the shutout...

Posted by: kyle_woodruff | December 9, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

letting theo don't = letting theo down

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

wtf_e_fehr powerplays come from outworking your opponent and forceing them to do something to stop you. The Caps have not had the energy to do that tonight.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 9, 2009 9:16 PM |

Heck I'll take a bad call at this point!

Posted by: wtf_e_fehr | December 9, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

wow - miller just took that one from ovi off of the chest - and it went about 10 feet right to the middle of the ice - it happens to the best of them

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

So was this the first game we were shut out of

Posted by: capscoach | December 9, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, Pens have been shut out 3 times this year. We were due for one eventually.

Posted by: UnleashTheCaps | December 9, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

After a game like this, just remember: at least you don't live in Buffalo.

Posted by: butcherbaker | December 9, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Capt Kirk: You can defend Theo all you want, he gave up 3 goals on 24 shots through 2 periods, 88.8 savewo percentage. Not good enough. Weak goals deflate teams. Especially on the road.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 9, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

I'm just saying that when it looks like your team is skating in quicksand you would hope your goaltender could have kept those last two out. Hey, I love this team. They were due for a dud, no big deal. You can't bring it 82 times. Have a good night Caps fans. Especially you Capt Kirk, I know you love this team and are just looking out for Theo, the way I look out for Greenie, Semin, Schultz, and any other Caps that get bashed. My bad, I should have left Theo alone.

Posted by: fanohock1 | December 9, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1:
i disagree - one weak goal. any way you slice it - zero goals = no chance to win. i still content that varly also would have lost this game

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Well that was gross. Pew.

Capt Kirk in AZ is right, this wasn't a Theo loss as much as the team in front of him failing to compete with the Sabres and Miller.

Miller was as advertised. We were not.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

fanohock1:
i don't have a problem with players being called out for poor play - i just don't think this loss was theo's fault.

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Wow those are depressing highlights showing all the glorious opportunities missed. Morisson should've had like 4 goals. He missed at least 2 open nets. Ovechkin missed a wide open net. That should be three goals. But that's the way it goes sometimes... hope they come out on fire on Friday.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 9, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216

On fire on Friday . . . if they aren't still dead tired. The weather is bad in Buffalo, they may not get out tonight, and traveling back home is little different from traveling to another city energy-wise. Yes, they will be at home and the fans can Rock the Red. I hope that will help!

But, then they have to go to Toronto on Saturday. It's brutal for them.

Posted by: Steakum | December 9, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

even though i think theo played ok tonight - if varly isn't ready to go by friday - i'd like to see neuvirth get a game before he goes back to hershey

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

@capscoach

And it was the first game the Caps had NEVER held the lead at any time.

Scary stat that makes me jealous of Buffalo. Any time Buffalo has held the lead going into the third period this year, they have ALWAYS won.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

@fanohock1

I agree that the diving call on Ovi was bogus. As soon as that call was made, I knew the game was over. (Actually, I thought it was over as soon as Buffalo scored their second goal.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

UGH, Gimmee a break! Miller was awesome tonight! Anything we threw at him he said "No Ma'am", it happens. It sucks we didn't get any points tonight but I am not worried about this at all. We had numerous opportunities and were robbed by a stellar/shut down Miller. If it is any other goalie on this night we score 3-4 goals. That's why he is going to be the lead stopper for Team USA, be happy Americans! That being said I see a big rebound on Friday night and the D tightening up around shady Theo.

Posted by: eorr | December 9, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Absolutely, Miller was the difference tonight. We could have done better but Miller and the Sabres were excellent. It happens.

Posted by: Sonyask | December 9, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes Miller was fantastic and I don't want to take anything away from him... but we missed at least 4 open nets.

Maybe Neuvy on Fri. and Varly on Sat? Or is that too early for Varly?

Posted by: rachel216 | December 9, 2009 10:12 PM | Report abuse

@wtf_e_fehr

Buffalo plays VERY disciplined against us -- as a rule. So PP's for us just don't happen. (That was true the day before T'giving.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

@rachel216

Yes, we missed several open nets. Ovi missed a few and someone on our 2nd line (Flash(?) missed.

Friday's probably too early for Varly. I'd say -- Neuvy, the new kid on the block, should be in goal Friday.

I also hope the boys can get out of Buffalo before Friday. Nothing like being stranded there.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Can the Caps make a trade for Ryan Miller? It would be nice to have him our our side.

(Of course, that would mean no room for our goalie prospects and I don't really want to kill their chances at the present time.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm going to take a moment to do some OVi bashing. Yes, you read this correctly.

OVi bashing:

I'm a huge Caps fan, and have watched OVi play over the years very closely. Not seeing him for a few games recently, then seeing him again, has given me a different perspective of him.

Here goes-

Its time someone sat him down, and spoke to him about puck possession. He absolutly cannot continue to try to take on more than 1 opposing player when entering the zone. Most of the time it results in a turnover, and disrupts our puck possession style game. I've seen him do this over the years, and have always said to myself 'hey, its OVi, he'll learn eventually, until then, its fine because he scores 50 goals and has a good +/-).

Not anymore. Its not good enough. We get beat by teams that play well as a team with solid goaltending. Tonight that may have not been the case, but I'm specifically pointing out OVi's flaws that lead to a disruption of 'flow' in the Caps game.

He often has a head up of steam up ice with the puck and enter the zone on his own facing 2 or more opposing players. Why not dump it in, get to the puck and hold it against the boards till your linemates can enter the zone, and maintain PUCK POSSESSION! Or, he can stop, head circle around and wait for his linemates. His mentallity of 'I MUST SCORE' worked when he first came to Washington, because he had no talent around him. But that has changed now. There is plenty of talent around him.

He also tries to deak to much at the blue line in the offensive zone in stead of making the simpler play. And his passing lately has stunk!

Even Fedorov last year said that OVi needs to utilize his linemates better to elevate his game.

Why do you think BB or even GMGM hasn't mentioned this to him? They don't need to say anything; they can just show him some film. Its SO obvious that if he tweaked that part of his game, it would help the entire team, but it may not increase his stats or add to his highlight reel goals. This is better for the team, and I think he would have no problem adjusting his game.

The last thing I wanted to point out is how other linemates of him are over serving him. I saw d-men today trying to get him the puck from behind their goal line, resulting in either an icing, or another OVi vs. 3 player attempt then turnover. You didn't see the Pens playing like that and you didn't see the Wings playing like that. Over serving anyone is a loosing strategy. This isn't OVis fault, its a coaching thing. Just thought I'd throw it in.

Posted by: floms | December 9, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Theo's save percentage -- 3 coals on 28 shots 88.8 % not good enough. Team shooting percentage 0 goals on 35 shots -- not good, period.

Posted by: miseaujeu | December 9, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

POSTGAME THOUGHTS:
@JSchon - right on the money about all three goals. However, Theo HAS to make that stop on the second goal. That was a vintage Pete Peeters goal. You can't give those up.

Ok - this game was a mulligan, clunker. Let's face it the hockey god of punk bounces was not smiling down tonight.

Hoping to get some guys back in the lineup for Friday. I noticed Aucoin didn't seem to have the jump he normally does tonight.

Credit the Sabres for not giving the Caps much room to work and Ryan Miller was a beast. Hats off to them.

Time to rebound and return home as the Hurricanes come blowing into town.

Ice Breakers Goal Shakers.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | December 9, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

@floms

I mentioned earlier in the thread that i wish Backstrom would've had the puck more instead of Ovi.

To counter your opinion. He does have 20 goals in 21 games, and has led the league in goals since he's been in the league largely playing this way.

I would say that this isn't an alarming trend, just a Buffalo team that caught us on an off night with a great goaltending performance by Miller.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

i thought theo played decent, second goal aside....the D on the third was freakin terrible, but hey it is one game and ryan miller was on the top of his game

Posted by: _stevo | December 9, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Lookin' forward to getting back on track Friday...Let's Go Caps!!

Posted by: JCB9 | December 9, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

@Steakum

Yes, the Caps have a brutal schedule. It's a good question as to when they'll even get out of Buffalo. They've cancelled several morning flights from there already, according to Tarik.

Will they even get out tomorrow evening? So they'll be more tired than usual at Verizon.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 10:50 PM | Report abuse

@floms

I don't remember who it was that made the following suggestion on Ovi.

Don't bother to give him skilled line mates but instead put him on a line with Steckel (to win the faceoff) and Sloan (to provide defense).

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

And now Pothier and Morrisonn are injured. Pothier left during 2nd period, not to return. And Morrisonn is also hurt.

Will it be emergency recall time for KA-27 again?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Giroux has had a lengthy audition in the big leagues. I haven't seen anything from him to warrant still being here. He doesn't show any effort on the ice. For a goal scorer, he doesn't show any stick handling ability. He just doesn't do anything for me. Let's try out someone else.

Posted by: jmcale57 | December 9, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

@jmcale57

Lets try out LarryDavid...

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Bradley will be our most rested player on Friday. (And this is even with a newborn baby.)

Or will our most rested player be a Hershey callup to be named later -- on emergency recall to play defense?

I assuming the Caps will be stranded in Buffalo until Friday morning due to the bad weather there.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 11:09 PM | Report abuse

JSchon:
hahahahahahahahaha

Posted by: Capt_Kirk_in_AZ | December 9, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

@Capt_Kirk_in_AZ & @JSchon

Nothing like trying out a member of the Doofus brigade for our spare forward slot.

In any case, Perreault, our sick boy from food poisoning, is back on Friday. And Knubs may be back also. So Giroux may be a goner anyway.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

OK, I will admit it. I stopped watching mid-2nd frame.

@CapsFan75 - That, in and of itself, explains a LOT about where our D might have gone in the 3rd frame. If you lose guys, you have to make up their ice time, -and- especially on defense, doubling up costs the team, hardcore.

Brian Pothier left with 9:46 left in the 2nd frame.

David Steckel did not play at all in the 3rd frame. He left with 5:18 left in the 2nd frame. Sh**.

And Tyler Sloan did not play at all in the 3rd frame, either. He didn't play at all after 5:28 left in the 2nd frame.

No WONDER things fell apart. Are all three guys hurt, or what? Everyone else had ice time in the 3rd...

Posted by: irockthered | December 9, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

LarryDavid would probably get a chance in the Caps lineup these days before Nylander.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 11:24 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

According to Corey, Pothier left the game with an undisclosed injury.

(I assume Morrisonn was also injured somehow.)

Sloan reportedly moved back to defense. I didn't know Steckel had left the game.

I stopped watching when Buffalo was up 2-0 and they called the diving penalty on Ovi. At that point, I figured my time would be better spent on starting my Christmas shopping than in watching a game that was essentially a lost cause.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm calling sick tomorrow with an undisclosed injury.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

@CapsFan75 - Sloan had ZERO ice time after 5:28 in the 2nd, and with Pothier hurt, he would have been moved to defense and kept there if at all possible...

Morrisonn played the game out. No idea what's up with that rumor...

Posted by: irockthered | December 9, 2009 11:34 PM | Report abuse

@JSchon

Upper body or lower body?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 11:36 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

Morrisonn was out for a while. But, he did return. (At least according to Corey).

Must admit, I stopped watching the game also.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Definitely upper or lower. Ask GMGM.

Posted by: JSchon | December 9, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

@irockthered

You're right. Both Stecks and Sloan were missing in action since Buffalo scored the second goal.

It's not usually like Boudreau to bench a line for a goal when it's only the second period especially when it was during a PK.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 9, 2009 11:46 PM | Report abuse

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